The statistics were there.
The results were not.
Greenwood's state championship dream died 42-10 on Friday at Williams-Brice Stadium, the Eagles (13-2) able to move the ball on Northwestern (15-0) but unable to finish. A running team all season, Greenwood trotted the ball against the Trojans' defense, but never found the one big play that could have meant a break in the game.
"They're good enough where you don't have to help," coach Gene Cathcart said. "When you do help them, a guy like (Justin) Worley's going to make you pay for it."
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The Eagles, relying on the triple option from a double-wing set, were averaging 5.8 rushing yards per carry and had four players with at least 550 yards for the season. The Trojans knew Greenwood would run, just as they knew last week's opponent, Goose Creek, would run.
Northwestern figured if it could just get one stop, and then produce a touchdown from its wonderfully inventive offense, it could edge ahead.
There was no need for a stop from the Trojans.
The Eagles stopped themselves.
Trailing 7-0 and backed up in its own territory, quarterback D.J. Dunlap pitched behind his running back and Kenneth Mitchell pounced.
That became a Northwestern touchdown.
After the Eagles had driven to the red zone, the Trojans stiffened and forced a field-goal try. Faking all the way, Aukeem Willis couldn't find the handle and threw incomplete for a turnover on downs.
"We had two drives, we capitalize on points, it's 21-14 at halftime," Cathcart regretted.
At the beginning of the third quarter, down 21-0, Greenwood faced third-and-12 on its first possession. Dunlap arched long but hung the ball for a few too many seconds, allowing the Trojans to double-up on the receiver and create a jumpball.
Montece Kennedy pulled down the interception.
That possession became a Northwestern punt, but Greenwood couldn't move the ball and also had to punt. A bad snap eluded Cal Tinsley; Tinsley recovered and tried to throw as he was being brought down for a safety.
It was ruled intentional grounding, and although Greenwood sacked Worley twice to back the ball from the 1-yard-line to the 17, Worley completed a throw under more pressure that Robert Joseph snatched from underneath a defensive back. That made it 28-0 Trojans and a countdown to a perfect season.
By the time Greenwood scored, it was a field goal with 1:24 to play in the third. That was set up by another loose pitch that knocked the Eagles further back.
Their wings severely clipped and singed by the firepower of the Trojans' offense, Greenwood had to be content with a fine season that wasn't quite fine enough. Cathcart said the Trojans' familiarity with the state championship atmosphere may have played a part - "Our kids were a little shell-shocked," he said - but giving Northwestern an edge doomed the Eagles' hopes.
"This stings a little bit, but that's part of it," Cathcart said. "When you're on a high elevation, it's a long way to fall."